Category Archives: Fashion

Clinton Kelly Gets “Real” with Cincy Chic

makeover americaSeriously. The “What Not to Wear” Gods are smiling down on me in 2010! Last month I got to meet Stacy London and yesterday I got to chat with Clinton Kelly on the phone (an in-person interview will follow when he comes to town on May 15 *pinching myself*).

The reason for my chat with Mr. Kelly? Well, he’s part of the “Macy’s and Clinton Kelly Make Over America Tour” that’s providing makeovers to 96 women across America  – 12 women in eight cities, including Cincinnati.

Clinton says he chose the women based on their story, but also made his selection to represent a diverse group of what he calls “real women.” The winners he selected come in all shapes, sizes, skin colors and types, hair colors and textures. He says he purposefully chose such a wide spectrum of winners because wanted viewers to be able to relate to at least one of the winners.

This tour will mark the fifth year Clinton has worked with Macy’s on a fashion show campaign across America (Click here to see pictures from his visit to Cincinnati in 2008).

When Clinton first started working with Macy’s, he worked with your typical model type (aka the skinny bitches we all hate – haha!). Then he began to incorporate plus size models into his shows. At the end of last year, he talked with Macy’s about how great it would be to feature real women on stage instead of models. They loved the idea and decided to run with it!

Clinton said Macy’s has been a great partner in executing this idea (he did admit though that it’s been a bit of a logistical nightmare to pull off, but they’re dealing with it well). They had tons of applicants and they finally narrowed it down to the 12 lucky winners in the eight selected cities (Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Albany, St. Louis, Seattle, Cincinnati, Houston and Raleigh). He and these 12 self-proclaimed style-starved Cincinnati girls will be strutting their stuff at a fashion show at Macy’s Kenwood Towne Centre on Saturday, May 15 at 2pm.

And because Cincinnati’s a big small town you’ll probably know one of the girls who will be rocking the runway. If so some out to support her, see her new look and meet Clinton Kelly! Here are the Cincinnati area Make Over America winners (and pictured in the below slideshow):
·        Tiffany Anderson from Seven Mile, OH
·        Michelle Burgio from Hamilton, OH
·        Danielle Cain from Cincinnati, OH
·        Shannon Crutchfield from Cincinnati, OH
·        Jennifer Gerike from Cincinnati, OH
·        Sarah Godfrey from Cincinnati, OH
·        Alexandra Hoog from Bethel, OH
·        Heather McDonough from Monroe, OH
·        Michelle Miller from Springfield, OH
·        Kim Poynter from Batavia, OH
·        Molly Rogers from Cincinnati, OH
·        Lisa Ross from Burlington, KY

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I did a little Q&A interview with Clinton, which you can check out below. Like I said, when he comes to Cincinnati I’ll get some one on one time and I’ll catch it all on video for you. Post in the comment section below what you’d like me to ask him when I meet him on May 15! Until then, enjoy this Q&A about the Make Over America campaign he’s coming into town for!

Amy: The press release says you’re going to help these women reinvent themselves from head to toe. Tell me about that. “Reinvent” sounds like so much more than just a surface makeover.

Clinton: I made over 225 women last year. I’ve done it enough to know that it’s not just a surface makeover. These women have written me the most wonderful letters and they’ve posted on the Facebook fan page that it’s changed their lives. So, what I’m doing is giving a surface makeover, but quite frankly it does go a little deeper than that.”

Amy: I knew a few models who were involved in one of the last events you did with Macys in Cincinnati. One in particular said you were meticulous and paid attention to every last detail before the models walked out on the runway. That was really powerful to hear because I think we sometimes see a spokesperson as a talking head who isn’t very involved. Tell me about your involvement in this campaign and level of work you put into these makeovers and this tour.

Clinton: I don’t just settle for okay. I settle for fabulous. That’s my goal: To make every woman look as fabulous as she can.

When you’re working with real women, it’s very different than working with models in that models get paid to wear what you tell them to wear. So, if they don’t like it, tough. They have to wear it anyway. Real women have opinions. I tell the real women “It’s important you like what I put you in, because if you don’t have that confidence on the runway you’re not going to impress anyone.”

Half the style is the confidence in what you’re wearing. So, if you feel uncomfortable, everyone else is going to feel that. I make sure that there’s a dialog between me and the real women. I call it a co-creation because it’s not me doing all the work and it’s not them doing all the work. It’s a real back and forth. Some women say, “I can’t wear heels,” so I work around that. Or they say, “I really don’t like my legs,” so I say ok that’s fine too.

I don’t do this for my ego. Don’t get me wrong my ego isn’t completely out of the equation. But, for the most part, I do this because I enjoy showing women they can be beautiful despite what they may think.

Amy: Sounds like you’re teaching these women some pretty valuable tools to spruce up their style. Can you share some of your best secrets that my readers can easily apply?

Clinton: Unfortunately there is a definite “Mom uniform.” It’s the cross training sneakers, light wash jeans, topped with a t-shirt, topped with a hoody. I think it’s a shame because they’ll never feel pretty in those four pieces. But there are four very easy alternatives.

Non athletic sneaker, boots or flats.

Dark wash jean with a straight leg that goes straight from the hip to the ground. Boom! Much more polished. Much more elongating on the leg. It takes the same amount of time to put on a bad pair of jeans as it does a good pair.

Instead of a t-shirt, do a blouse. Women think blouses are fancy. They are not fancy, they’re just shirts made for women.

And the hoody or sweatshirt, they do nothing for your body. You need to upgrade that to a jacket. It doesn’t need to be a suit jacket. It can be a cotton jacket or a denim jacket. It creates an hourglass shape even if you don’t have one.

These are four ways every woman can do today to completely reinvent her casual style.

Check out the video below of the Make Over America 2010 preview!

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27yo Breast Cancer Survivor Benefit Event Tonight!

The “Big C” never hits at a good time. But 27 years old is way, way too young.

I’m 27, so this one hits extremely close to home. Makes me realize you’re never immune, you’re never safe, from the grips of breast cancer.

Lauren Carr (who I’ve have the pleasure of meeting when shopping at Sara Benjamins) was recently diagnosed with breast cancer at the mere age of 27. Her friends, family and co-workers are holding a benefit event for her tonight. See below.

From what I understand, the treatments (and being out of work to recover) have taken a financial toll on Lauren. And money is the last thing this girl needs to worry about during her battle against cancer. Hope to see you there.

lauren benefit

Savings Summit Sneak Peek

lol liveAs you probably know, I’m one of many bloggers here on Cincinnati.com/LOL. We’re all cool, fun and informative in our own special way. But we all kind of hid behind our own computer screens and never really collaborated.

Well, a few months ago, we came up with the idea to take a break from our online blogging world and enter the real space to meet our readers in person, and inform them about things they really want to learn more about.

Of course, money is top of mind for all of us, so we decided the over-arching topic of this event should be about saving money. And from there, the idea evolved into the LOL Live: Savings Summit, a free, fun-filled, information-packed day where you can get practical tips and tricks to saving money on groceries, clothing, health and fitness.
LOL live
It’s going to be on May 15, from 10am-3pm at the Elements Event Center in Sharonville. I think they’re only letting about 300 people in, and it’s first come first served, so register today! It’s free (we’re asking for a canned good donation to the Freestore Food Bank) and it’s going to be very informative, so I hope you’ll come.

Kasmira from the What I Wore Today blog and I are working together on a seminar called “Heels and Steals.” Kasmira will be talking about how to swap, accessorize and refresh your wardrobe with little to no money (here is a link to her sneak peek blog). And I’ll be talking about how to get that look for less (hair/makeup/skincare/fashion) with various savvy shopping sites, coupon codes, and experts in town who offer quality services at cut-rate prices. The other seminars include couponing with MommySnacks, and “How to Pad Your Wallet Not Your Butt” with Dr. Huber.

Remember, if you attend our seminar, we need you to bring a scarf (oblong, pashmina-sized) for an interactive scarf workshop. Bring your favorite technique to share!

Should be a great time! Register here: http://lolsavings.eventbrite.com/

Indie Collection Cincinnati

When you think of Kenwood Towne Centre, big box stores probably come to mind. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Forever 21… etc etc.

Well, next weekend, KTC is letting the independent designers take over! I’m so excited!

Ok, here’s how it happened. About a month ago, I got an email from someone at KTC and she said she wanted to do a shopping extravaganza, but use only local designers. I was in love with the idea, so I scavenged through my little black book for local designers and emailed them all. Many of them were able to participate, so “Indie Collection Cincinnati” was born.

See below for more info about the event, but the gist is that local jewelry, handbag, accessory and clothing designers will be at Kenwood for one weekend only. These are my favorite designers ever (Degroot Handbags and FENNO Fashion are two of them that will be there.) This has never been done before. It’s your chance to get that Mother’s Day, Graduation, or I’m-so-special-I-deserve-a-gift Gift!

indie

Dress for Success Benefit, Sale at The Pink Box

I just came across this sale and thought it looked too special not to share! In case you don’t know about Dress for Success, it’s a great place for you to donate professional clothes so less fortunate women can wear fab fashions to snag a snazzy new job and keep it! We wrote about DFS and its corresponding 4th St. Boutique here on Cincy Chic.

On May 6, The Pink Box in Hyde Park is having a 10% off sale, and they’re donating an extra 10% to DFS. Also, you can bring in handbags and accessories to donate to DFS. See below for more information! (click on it to enlarge)
DFS

If you haven’t been to The Pink Box, it’s a must-visit boutique… especially if you don’t have that Mother’s Day gift yet. It has awesome jewelry and gift items that moms would love love love. And if you get 10% off and 10% goes to charity, that means you can buy 20% more, right? That’s my kind of math! : )

Top 10 Looks From Cincinnati Fashion Week Finale

CFW
Me and the husband in front row at CFW! Swanky! : )

Last night we witnessed history in the making. The first-ever Cincinnati Fashion Week Finale took place last night at the Hyatt.

The swag bags were incredible. The audience had fun with their flair. And the catwalk was SMOKIN’!

There were a few hiccups, like the VIP ticket holders (who paid $100) only getting complimentary drinks for the 90 mins when the ticket price included free drinks for the entire night. But overall, I think the event was a huge success.

When I looked around the room, and the sold out crowd, it didn’t look like it was the first time this event had taken place. The catwalk, lights and music (by DJ Fuse) were top notch. I wish they would have sold the soundtrack from the show, because it was really, really ridiculously good music.

I really liked all the designers, too. There was a big focus on designers with Cincinnati roots, which I definitely appreciated. Even though there was a wide variety of Cincinnati, St. Louis, Malibu, NYC and London-based lines, almost every single one of the designers either went to DAAP, taught at DAAP or lived in the Tri-State at some point in their life. Having that just underscored how fashion-capable our city is, which is the whole reason behind the genesis of Cincinnati Fashion Week.

After the show, my husband and I talked about our favorite items (yeah, he’s very metrosexual, so he loves talking fashion!). It was tough to choose my favorites because there was such a wide variety of style and sparkle, posh and panache, evening wear, swimwear and sportswear. But, after reviewing my pics and having a day to stew on the looks, I narrowed it down to my top 10 favorites. I only focused on women’s fashion, because that’s my demo, but if I had to pick a male fav, it would be the Arbitrage Vegas-inspired line. My husband loved every single thing they put on the catwalk, and I’d love to see him in all of it too! But here are my top 10 favs (click on the pics 2x to enlarge)… based on creativity and wearability… and a gauge on how many crimes I would commit to get these things in my closet ASAP. Enjoy!

10
10. Daequan, Brooklyn NY
9
9. Amy Longo, NYC
8
8. Laura Dawson, London
7
7. Amy Kirchen, Cincinnati
6
6. The Brush Factory, Cincinnati
5
5. Anne Pachan swimwear, NYC (and Azhand Shokohi jewelery)
4
4. Amy Longo, NYC
3
3. Amy Kirchen, Cincinnati
2
2. David Meister, International
1
1. Grace Mae, Malibu

Grace Mae completely blew me away. Her designs were breathtakingly beautiful. Classy, edgy, sexy and soft. A balance that’s difficult to find, but she did it with such ease. All her designs this season had a fun theme… what I like to think of as a “hate to see you leave,but I love to see you go” theme. All the backs of her dresses were open and airy, which I found fun and flirty. I tried to Google Grace Mae and I couldn’t find her. But she’s someone I’m sure we’ll all hear more about in the VERY near future.

Saksy Savings & Event

My friends at Saks recently sent me an event invite and a coupon, and told me I could share it with you.

The event, cleverly named “Choos Your Shoes” is a night to pamper and spa with your friends while shoe shopping. Not unlike what my heaven will look like…

If you do realize that you have a few Benjamins to spare (I unfortunately do not thanks to house renovations and landscaping bills…boo) and spring for a new pair of Jimmy Choos, you’ll get a free Choo 24:7 tote bag. I talked about the new 24:7 line here.
saks

Saks also sent me a coupon to share with you. BTW, I’m not being paid to tell you about this and I don’t get any residuals if you use this, just so you know. I just want to share in case you were planning on buying something, and could use the discount!

I’m on the hunt for some new mascara (aren’t we all). I read this article about the top five mascaras based on expert reviews, so I’m going to stop in and give them a try and use my coupon if I decide to make a purchase! I’ll let you know if any of the mascaras rock my world! : ) Have a great weekend!
saks

CFW Spotlight: ALK Fashion

CFW
Me with Nathan Hurst, CFW Founder & Designer. Photo Credit: The Style Sample

Well, Cincinnati Fashion Week officially kicked off in style! On Tuesday, I went to the CFW Designer Meet and Greet night at FBs downtown on Sixth St.

I was so disappointed because I worked late and didn’t get to stop home and change before going to the party. Normally I wouldn’t care. But I was wearing boring work-wear, which looked especially boring next to everyone’s fabulously fashion forward outfits at the event. Ugh, oh well.

I was so proud of Cincinnati as I looked around the room. It was like I stepped into another dimension at that party. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Cincinnati anymore… Seriously, everyone was dressed to the nines, taking fashion risks (except for me, grrr) and meeting people outside their usual social networks. Hey, you didn’t know who you’d run into there! You could be meeting the next Diane Von Furstenberg! That room was full of all the things people say Cincinnati isn’t capable of. But we did it. And everyone there learned that the Queen City is good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like us! haha! : )

I didn’t get to do much meeting and greeting at the event unfortunately. I couldn’t tell who the designers were. But I did get into some interesting conversations with people. One of which asked me who I was most excited to see at Friday’s Fashion Week Finale.

ALK Fashion
ALK Fashion

I all the sudden understood how men get so passionate about their sports talk. I completely unloaded on this girl, John Madden style: “Well, I feel like the crowd favorite is David Meister. He’s got a good offense with his evening gown line – the bold jewel tones were a nice play there – and he’s scoring some major points with those one shoulder cocktail dresses. But I’m going with our hometown hero, Amy Kirchen, rookie designer of the new Cincinnati-based ALK Fashion. Her post-world war designs are a huge touchtown with the emerging military trend, but she runs it down the field with romance and wearability I haven’t seen elsewhere. She’d be my first draft pick given the choice.”

It was an out-of-body experience.

Naturally, I didn’t REALLY say all of that. I just said “David’s everyone’s favorite because he’s the headliner, but I’m more excited to see all the Cincinnati talent, especially ALK Fashion.”

I got the opportunity to meet Kirchen a little more than a year ago. She told me she wanted to start her own business, and she picked my brain (not sure she found much) because I had started Cincy Chic a couple years prior. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. At the time, she wanted to do something that incorporated makeup, modeling and design. But we caught up for coffee a few months later and she decided to just do the fashion line.

Amy Kirchen
Amy Kirchen, the designer behind ALK Fashion

And since then, she’s worked like a mad woman coming up with her company’s name, website, and all the designs in her first-ever line which will be unveiled at CFW. Oh, and by the way, she also just got married and had a beautiful baby girl. Talk about a super woman.

On a personal and professional level, I’m very excited to see this talented young woman blossom. She is one to keep your eye on for sure.

I hope you’ve purchased your ticket to CFW’s Finale. It will be epic to see Cincinnati’s own Kirchen, as well as all the other designers who’ve come from all over the world, showcase their new designs on the catwalk this Friday. Congrats to all the organizers for planning it, all the designers for participating in it, and to Cincinnati for supporting it.

Cincinnati Fashion Week

In January, Cincy Chic caught wind of Cincinnati’s first-ever Fashion Week. After squealing like little school girls in excitement, we talked with Nathan the organizer and wrote a story about the week’s festivities.

Granted, that story was written in January, so a lot has changed and developed. You can go to CincinnatiFashionWeek.com and get all the up-to-date info about THIS WEEK’s festivities. That’s right. This week … is… CINCINNATI FASHION WEEK!

Tonight is the VIP night where I get to meet all the designers in town for CFW. I’ll be posting pics and videos throughout the week from my experiences at the CFW festivities.

I also just got an email from Fetish Boutique saying that they’re giving a discount if you just mention CFW, so that’s pretty cool! Fetish recently changed owners. Click here to learn more about the new owner and what she plans to do with the store. And read info below for details about the sale at Fetish (copy and pasted from the message I just received from her email distribution)

This week is the first ever Cincinnati Fashion Week, and Fetish is extremely
excited to be participating in the week long festivities!!!!  To celebrate
Fetish will be offering a 25% discount all week to any customer mentioning
“Cincinnati Fashion Week!”

To learn more about Cincinnati Fashion Week visit their website:
www.cincinnatifashionweek.com

Half Price Jewelry at Missy & Jack this Weekend!

I live in a teeny tiny Sears catalog home, so needless to say, I don’t have ample room for clothing. So, my clothing wardrobe is actually pretty basic and minimalistic. I tend to add spice and flair to my outfits with new jewelry instead of new clothes. And I found the perfect opportunity to stock up. I just found out Missy & Jack in Mason is having a 50% off sale on their jewelry this weekend. I always love her jewelry… it’s big and chunky, fun and fabulous, costume-y but oh-so-chic. If that’s the kind of jewelry you like too, it sounds like this is a must-shop sale for you!
missy and jack

FYI, I found out about this sale from Missy & Jack’s e-mail distribution (she sent it literally a few minutes ago… this is my kind of “breaking news” haha!). She also announced sales like this on her Facebook page. Click here to see a story we recently wrote on Cincy Chic about local businesses who announce sales like this on their social media sites. I found it helpful for finding out about great deals like this. Hope you do too!